July 22, 2023

The Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra (LSSO), founded in 2003, celebrates its Twentieth Anniversary Season with a gala concert in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The one-performance program will be presented on Sunday, August 13th, at 3:00 p.m.

Music Director and Conductor Kirt Mosier will be joined by guest artists Lauren Braton and Jan Kraybill in a varied program that displays the accomplished conductor and musicians of the Lee’s Summit Symphony. Taking fullest advantage of the renowned Helzberg Concert Hall, the program will include the Finale of the Saint-Saëns: Symphony #3 (the Organ Symphony) featuring Jan Kraybill as soloist on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ. The program also features the world premiere of a new work written for the occasion by the Orchestra’s Principal Oboist, Karl Hayes. His celebratory piece — Press On! — opens the concert.

Music Director Kirt Mosier said, “It is both a thrill and an honor for our musicians and for me to perform on the stage of Helzberg Hall. Over its first ten years, the Kauffman Center and this hall have become known throughout the performing arts world as a pristine venue for orchestral concerts. We are grateful to our loyal Lee’s Summit community for their support in underwriting this program. It is a most exciting opening to our special anniversary season.”

Michael Roark, President of the LSSO Board of Directors, spoke enthusiastically about the Lee’s Summit Symphony and this important milestone. “The LSSO is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the City of Lee’s Summit,” he said. “From our beginnings as a community orchestra formed to provide a creative experience for local musicians and audiences, the Lee’s Summit Symphony has steadily grown in artistic accomplishment and size. The LSSO is a true ‘community’ orchestra, generously supported by a loyal audience and a dedicated and generous group of volunteers. This is a wonderful opportunity to share Lee’s Summit Symphony in one of the nation’s most acclaimed concert halls with the greater Kansas City community. We are especially grateful to the individual private sponsors, as well as the City of Lee’s Summit and the Kauffman Center, who have helped underwrite the costs of this special afternoon.”

Remaining tickets are available from $18–$48, and may be purchased directly at the Kauffman Center Ticket Office. Call 816-994-7222 or visit tickets.kauffmancenter.org/21270.

About LSSO
Founded in 2003 by Russ Berlin and Phyllis Hamilton, the LSSO has provided excellent musical experiences that enhance the quality of life for our community. Each season, over 200 musicians and volunteers share their talents, passion of music, and time by performing live, symphonic concerts for thousands of patrons to enjoy at John Knox Pavilion in Lee’s Summit.

As the Symphony celebrates its 20th anniversary in the 2023-24 season, it will boast its largest orchestra comprising nearly 100 dedicated area volunteer musicians. As artistic director, Kirt Mosier is leading the orchestra into a new five-year strategic plan that focuses on the continued artistic growth of our orchestra and further concert enhancements for our audience. LSSO started with their first concert in the Longview horse arena (now Longview Elementary) to now being recognized as a premier arts organization and an integral part of the cultural arts in our region. In 2018, the LSSO was named one of the three top Not-For-Profit businesses by the Lee’s Summit Chamber and was recognized by the League of American Orchestras as a Gold Book Volunteer Organization. In that same year, the LSSO moved to John Knox Village and has seen growing concert attendance ever since with this season being the largest audience to date. The Symphony plans to exceed 4,000 concertgoers this season through its four-concert series. This concert will be the Symphony’s third performance at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

About Kirt Mosier
Kirt Mosier is an internationally known and critically acclaimed composer and conductor. Mr. Mosier is the music director and conductor of the Lee’s Summit Symphony and has been the artistic director for the Kansas City Youth Symphony. Mosier also serves on the national board of Music for All.

He has conducted numerous performances with international orchestras at locations such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Reykjavik Iceland’s Harpa Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein and MuTH Concert Halls, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, Singapore, Jakarta, South Korea, Thailand and Australia’s famed Sydney Opera House.

Mosier has twice won national composition awards with his 1993 work entitled “Baltic Dance” and his 2004 composition entitled “American Reel”. In 2010 Mr. Mosier was commissioned by the Portland Ballet Company of Portland, Maine to write an original score for their production of “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow”. He has had many works featured at the Midwest International Clinic in Chicago and is a frequent guest conductor at the event.

Kirt Mosier was recently awarded the Joanna Nichols Artist In Residence Grant by the Taipei American School and is the Artist In Residence in Taipei, Taiwan. Mr. Mosier also taught orchestration for the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory and had a distinguished career as Director of Orchestras with the Raytown and Lee’s Summit School Districts in Missouri.

Mr. Mosier was the founding teacher of the Digital Media Technology program at Summit Technology Academy which is housed by the Lee’s Summit R7 School District. Digital Media Technology students learn studio multitrack recording as well as video editing software and techniques. Mr. Mosier’s students at Summit Technology Academy have won national recognition and many are in the professional industry today.

Mr. Mosier continues to appear as a guest conductor throughout the world. He also writes annually for many publishers and fills commissions throughout the world.

About Lauren Braton — Vocalist
Lauren Braton is a professional vocalist/actress based in Kansas City, Missouri. She has over fifteen years stage experience. Lauren also owns her own private voice studio and has been teaching voice for over ten years. She also works as film, commercial, and voiceover artist. Lauren is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association.
Locally, Lauren has performed on nearly every stage in town including Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Starlight Theatre, Music Theater Heritage, Quality Hill Playhouse, The Coterie, Spinning Tree Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, The Unicorn, Chestnut Fine Arts, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, The Folly Theater, and Kauffman Center.

Regionally, Lauren has performed at Arrowrock Lyceum Theatre, and Seagle Music Colony.

In addition to a stage career, Lauren stays active with commercial, voiceover, and film work. Some highlights have been national commercials for Sprint and HyVee. She also starred in the PBS series “Future States” (Episode – “Charlie 13”). She also played “Pat Findstrom” in the mockumentary, “Metcalf South Memories,” directed by W. Dave Keith. The film had premieres at Tulsa American Film Festival, LA Comedy Film Festival, River’s Edge Film Festival, and Kansas City Film Festival. Lauren also sang “God Bless America” on primetime national television during the 2015 ALCS championship game on Fox Sports. She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.

About Dr. Jan Kraybill, DMA, FAGO — Organist
GRAMMY-nominated artist Jan Kraybill is a concert organist, pianist, and harpsichordist; a dynamic speaker, educator, church musician, and consultant; and an enthusiastic cheerleader for the power of music to change lives for the better.

In addition to maintaining a very active concert schedule, Dr. Kraybill is organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts; organist-in-residence at the international headquarters of Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri; and organist at Village on Antioch Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas. In these roles she plays and oversees the care of three of the Kansas City metro area’s largest pipe organs: the 113-rank Aeolian-Skinner (1959) and 102-rank Casavant (1993) at Community of Christ’s Auditorium and Temple, and the Kauffman Center’s 102-rank Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant (2012).

Throughout her career Jan has performed as both a solo and collaborative musician, designed and led international hymn festivals, taught workshops on a variety of topics, and inspired audiences and congregations.

Jan has recorded for Reference Recordings with the Kansas City Symphony on several occasions. Their disc containing Saint-Saëns’ “Organ” Symphony was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2015. Her second solo album with Reference, The Orchestral Organ, received three nominations for GRAMMY awards in 2020, including Best Classical Instrumental Solo.

Dr. Kraybill’s degrees in music education and piano and organ performance were earned at Kansas State University and the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City. In 2010 she achieved the distinction of Fellow of the AGO, the highest certification level available for organists. She has served in many local, regional, and national roles in the AGO, The Hymn Society, and the Master Teacher Institute, most recently as Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada. She is a member of Mensa. Her extra-musical interests include antiquing, lace making, and riding her Harley-Davidson motorcycle.